My (very nice and very patient) father has agreed to come to the house everyday at 5pm to tutor Vince in Chinese and math. It was originally just for Chinese, but then it did occur to me that I could throw math into the deal and then I’d only have to do English (my weakest subject, but at least it’s my native language). Vince is amused and last night told me Dad’s obsession about the right-hand rule / Cartesian coordinates and then I was like – oh yeah, I totally remember Dad teaching me the right-hand rule at about the same age. I’m working upstairs, but I do go downstairs and check up on the two of them – make sure they aren’t goofing off because they are a pair of goofballs. I come downstairs and my dad is patiently teaching Vince all the bad words in Chinese. I guess that was bound to happen.
On Sunday, we eeked out the last bit of summer. Vince went to a glow-in-the-dark mini-golf party to celebrate Calvin’s birthday. Vince, Ben and Calvin got to hang out together, which they don’t do that often. That’s Vince with the slime on his mouth.
We experimented with these multi-filling water balloons. You put the hose on the end of a straw-type-thing and then you can fill 25 water balloons at once.
Lucky for Jerry, Vince loves water balloons.
First day of school photo. Older brother giving younger sis a noogie. Thank goodness we celebrated our wedding anniversary on Saturday, because by Sunday night we were all a bit grumpy at each other. Homework (not done yet), electronic curfews (someone wants it to be later), what to by at open lunch (snacks at the 7-11)…. already! Delegation/discussion of who gets to be the “fun” parent and who gets to be the “mean” parent. All before the first day of school. And that was only Vince! For Edda, there’s coordination of new care providers and making sure she’s one the right buses with all the right stuff going to the right places.
Off he goes!
Maxi standing (well, sitting) sentry at the door for the school bus…
There’s the bus!
And finally me, it was my first day of school too. Jeremy packed me an extra special lunch. Community health this quarter – using some rudimentary Chinese, doing blood pressure screenings and seeing what’s out there.
Tomorrow, Jeremy and I will be married 18 years. Thank you Jeremy for everything. For all this. I rely so much on your kindness, generosity and steadiness. I’m the lucky one.
To celebrate, we had breakfast with Edda on Saturday and then we spent about 10 hours on our own. We hardly ever have that chunk of time on our own. After breakfast, we drove couple of hours into the MD countryside and headed to Harper’s Ferry for a brief hike.
Jeremy bought me a lot of ice cream.
He had a lot of ice cream too.
We walked some. Then we went to Frederick to have dinner at this place called Family Meal. We thought Vince would like it.
Then we saw a wonderful movie called Kubo and the Two Strings. We thought Edda might like it.
Quick updates before school starts. If it doesn’t get blogged now, it’ll never get blogged. This past week, we took Edda to HSC (formerly known as the Hospital for Sick Children, but now known as just HSC, just like the ARC which used to be known as the Association for Retarded Citizens, but now is just ARC) to get her a sleep safe bed. I’m have a B of a time getting the bath chair from my other vendor, it was only by chance that I heard about HSC. SleepSafe beds didn’t mention them as a vendor, my insurance didn’t mention them as a vendor. I’m very excited because HSC seems to call me back and, well, that is enough. If it gets through insurance (2 months) we should get the bed in 3 months (1 month to build the bed). Keeping my fingers crossed. I have to admit that every night when either Jeremy or I go over at 2am, 3am, 4am, or 5am, I dream about the adult sized crib. Sleep. I love sleep.
We did go out with Lael and Rachel this past Monday, they were kind enough to drive all the way to Rockville. We went out to Chinese food and Ben & Jerry’s. We talked a bunch about marriage and kids. But we also talked about cigar bars.
It’s actually great serendipity that my dad (Gong Gong) is here in town because the summer Chinese packet is INSANE. After two years of reasonable vocabulary about school, family members, jobs, body parts/illness and ordering noodles in a restaurant, the summer packet is about silver haired rabbits yelling poetry at personified seasons. Huh? Vince can barely handle the weird mysterious crap (magical realism mainly) happening in his English readings.
Vince swears that 75% of the words in the packet, he’s never seen before. Also, after two years of simplified characters, this new high school teacher wants to throw in traditional characters too. All this points to a difficult road ahead. I’m thankful that for now, Gong Gong can help out with the silver haired rabbits. Hmmm….
Edda had such a nice week with Eliana. It’s tough to think of fun things to do with Edda, my ideas are always eating hamburgers and the walking the shopping mall, but Eliana came up with a whole week’s worth of fun activities. They went to a pottery painting place. They went to botanical gardens.
They went to the specialty aquarium shop here in Rockville. There was a movie outing. Edda loves Eliana very much.
And they found an aviation museum with a story time and craft hour. They were out and about everyday this week. Vince was stuck a lot at home, doing homework – he was like how come Edda gets to do all the fun stuff? I was like – dude, you got to do a lot of fun stuff all summer. It’s now time to work.
The last week of summer. The week before Vince starts high school. He’s scrambling a bit to finish the summer packets – English, math and Chinese. Of course, I printed them out at the beginning of summer hoping that he’d get a few pages done here and there, but it didn’t happen. Vince had a really fun and busy summer.
I took him on a lunch date this week to go clothes/backpack and school supply shopping. Here he is looking like his father.
He tried out Jeremy’s messenger bag.
Today was a half day orientation day in prep for the first day on Monday. Vince tried out his new bike route to school. We live within a 2 mile radius of school, so there is no bus service…
Vince wanted me to make sure to let you know, these are not first day photos! Vince went through all his classes and met his teachers and found out which friends were in each of his classes. Also, only about a quarter of the kids use lockers. If you want a locker, you gotta bring your own lock. I think they don’t use textbooks anymore as everything is online and in Google Classroom, so no need to store them during the day. But where do you put your winter coat? Oh yeah, I forgot that no one wears winter jackets.
This evening, we went to a freshman/family BBQ where all the clubs were trying to get new members. I think Vince got this Chinese yoyo from the juggling club.
Can I join a club? The debate team? I would be very poor at debate. I like to say – OK, you win.
The robotics team:
This is Vince’s group of friends. I know some of them, but I don’t know a lot of them. It seemed to much to ask them to turn around for a posed photo, so you only get a photo of Vince peeling away from them as we headed home. I bumped into a few parents at the BBQ. We talked about how our babies were no longer babies. (Though I did say hello to a parent who is bringing up the rear with a 1 week old at the ripe old age of 42!) We talked about how clearly we remember high school, how much of it was about your friends and figuring crap out about who you were and who your friends were and what you liked to do and and how little of it was about your parents.
My dad (surprise!) came back into town today, so to celebrate, I promised to buy him a nice steak. We rarely eat beef in the house (although we eat plenty outside the house (hamburgers, I’m looking at you)) – so it was kind of a shock how much steak cost. I mean, I wanted to celebrate, but I didn’t want to go crazy. So I picked the one on sale (of course). I didn’t even notice the “happy cow rating” when I bought it, but Jeremy did while he was cooking it and informed me that the cow was rather lowly rated in happiness points. Oh well. I acknowledge the two sides that torment each other in my body – the side that wants to better the world and the side that remains a cheapskate.
I bought two enormous steaks – one for my dad and one for the rest of us to share. Just a bit of salt and pepper.
Preparing the grill.
Dad picking out which one is his. It was delicious! Ruby and Max agree too!
Of course, after I wrote about not needing an alarm, I overslept today. Is it possible to oversleep on a Sunday? Yes. I wanted to get out by 6 am for my weekend long(ish) run so I’d get back home in plenty of time so Jeremy could start his bike ride to meet a friend at a specified time. I did not get up until 6:38 am, which put me out the front door at 6:45am – still not yet quite awake.
After coming home and trading off with Jeremy, I loaded up the van with Edda, Vince and me and dropped Vince off at fair takedown. The fair is over. Vince is very happy that he worked all hours – a true Ironman. We both concurred that the boys (the oldest ones) that ran the fair this year did an excellent job. In past years, I’d sometimes show up and not work at all for the 6 hour shift. I’d just be sitting in the adult tent, just doing adult things. But this year, someone reminded the boys that the parents take off work for the fair, so this year, I really worked a lot of time in the lot. Felt less useless, less like I was wasting my time. Anyways, I thought I’d have four hours between drop off and pick up at fair takedown, but I looked around and there didn’t seem to be four hours of work to be done – so instead of heading to Frederick, MD with Edda to try a new interesting restaurant serving “exploded potatoes”, we went to the nearby Panera to wait the 90 minutes the boys were pulling in signs.
You know, people are still really nice most of the time. So many people held doors open for me and Edda. A guy practically ran over to us to help move chairs from the table to find a space for Edda. I’m doing my Edda pouty face for you.
This is the cobblestone muffin. It was OK. I think Edda liked it more than I did.
Facetimed with my mom today. They’ll be back in DC in a few weeks. Very nice.
Sunday night dinner. Topics: politics, haircuts, Papa Johns pizza, the spread of STDs at retirement homes, Meryl Streep, rhythmic gymnastics & Gene’s 80th birthday! We are going to celebrate with a lot of whiskey…
I’m going to bed too late. With the Olympics & Vince’s late night schedule, I get a little rush of adrenaline at 10/10:30 pm, then I can’t sleep until 11:30pm/midnight. I can’t wait for school to start. I cut Edda’s hair today, her back to school cut. I’m still upset about her hair loss (teenage angst never really goes away), but Jeremy reminds me that Edda doesn’t care and it’s all about how she feels and not how we feel. ok ok ok. I did a poor job on the haircut because I’m flummoxed, but it’s dangerous to try to correct mistakes, then you might err on the too short side which I think is worse than being crooked.
Jeremy’s new seat – very pleased, road an hour to break it in a check the positioning.
He showed me all the tools that he got… like a little kid again.
Nat gave us a few slices of her many layered cake. Earl grey flavored – yummy.
I spent a couple of hours today replacing Nat and Dara’s leaking faucet. The old one (after I disconnected it a little):